Few places on Earth blend the magic of Mother Nature with human innovation so successfully. The Western Cape’s principal city, Cape Town, sits knowingly beneath Table Mountain with neither being overshadowed. In many ways, the Western Cape encapsulates South Africa’s spirit as a whole, the ever-present shadow of history can be found on Robben Island, whilst the nation’s rich wildlife is represented by whales, sharks and even penguins. Sports stadiums dominate the skyline from above, with the Springboks and South Africa’s successful cricket team very much a part of the Western Cape’s famous fabric.
Within the Western Cape, Hermanus is a small but prominent seaside town known as one of the best locations for whale-watching. Hermanus lies within the larger region of Walker Bay, the natural retreat for Southern Right Whales when they calf their young. The area is protected by strict boating and fishing laws in order to preserve the extensive and diverse marine life that inhabit Walker Bay, however whale-watching tours are regulated and freely available. Further inland, the Cederberg mountains is an ideal location for anyone seeking active pursuits, including hiking, biking and even surfing! Birdwatchers are also drawn to this visually arresting location, whilst the rich cultural history of the surrounding area is told by fascinating ancient drawings known as Bushman rock art. These small, colourful engravings are found across South Africa, in caves and on rock formations, and are thought to be the workings of indigenous tribes. The Cederberg mountain area has specially organised tours to explore the art and its history. The Western Cape is, undoubtedly, the most westernised area of contemporary South Africa, but the stunning scenery, captivating culture and endless sightseeing opportunities ensure the many colours of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ are vividly represented.